Developers asked to trim down housing proposal on Greenbriar Dr.


Developers asked to trim down housing proposal on Greenbriar Dr.
Representatives of Cypress Avenue Development, LLC, speak before the Shrewsbury Planning Board, Feb. 2, regarding their proposed 55-over housing project. (Photo/Bill Gilman)

SHREWSBURY – Developers hoping to build a 55-and-over housing project at the corner of Greenbriar Drive and Gulf Street are being asked to reduce their proposal.

Cypress Avenue Development LLC has submitted plans for 53 units and would be made up of mostly duplexes, with eight units classified as “affordable.” The developer was originally proposing 66 units, which was cut to 60 over the summer.

However, at a continuation of the public hearing for site plan approval and a special permit at its Feb. 2 meeting, the Planning Board indicated its reticence to approve the application at its current size.

John Grenier, principal of JM Grenier Associates, pushed back on the notion that it was too dense.

“Even when we were at 60 units, we were the least dense of any 55-over development in town,” he said. “And now that we’re at 53 units, we’re even further below the density of any other [over 55] development permitted in town.”

However, it appeared that board members were not convinced.

“I think the project’s a bit dense. I’d like to see a few less units,” said Planning Board member Stephen Rodolakis. “I know you guys have worked hard to try and accommodate us, and I appreciate that. I’d like to see some units shaved off, [and] get the project down to 48.”

“I’m struggling with the 53 units,” said board Chair Steven Boulay. “Feet to the f ire today, I would not be in favor of this plan, as derived.”

Larry Rosenberg and Stephen Blum of Cypress Avenue Development were unwilling to commit to the reduced number of units at that moment and requested the hearing be continued.

The board agreed and continued the hearing to March 2.

Boch Subaru hearing continues

The board also continued its public hearing for the proposed new location for the Boch Subaru auto dealership on Boston Turnpike.

Attorney Richard Ricker, representing Boch Shrewsbury-Worcester LLC, provided an update on several items filed before the board, including a stormwater report, responses to the peer review and an updated traffic impact statement from their traffic engineers.

In addition, Ricker discussed the retaining walls and slope to be built on the property.

“As you know from the plan, all of the walls on the site and the slope are substantially interior. There is no way they would affect any of the neighboring properties … or the abutters or anything,” said Ricker. “Our geotechnical engineers that we’ve spoken with to date … keep telling us, ‘Ask them if they would close [the hearing] so that then we would know your site is complete as far as the Planning Board goes and then we can do the plans.’”

Residents speaking during the public comment portion of the hearing continued to express concerns about traffic around the site, especially as pertains to the car carriers delivering vehicles to the dealership.

According to Maureen McHugh of McMahon Associates, a “right turn only” exit included in the plans for the site would ensure that the car carriers would only pass through a residential area for about 280 yards just two times a week.

The board voted to continue the public hearing to its March 2 meeting.

In other business

The board held a public hearing on a site plan modification for a proposed hydrogen storage and compression system pad that was submitted by Neles-Jamesbury Inc. The project is planned for 42-44 Bowditch Ave. The board voted to continue the hearing to the March 2 meeting, pending a decision from the Conservation Commission regarding the project.

The board granted a continuance to the March 2 meeting at the request of the applicant of the proposed Beal Commons development. The board also granted a continuance of the public hearing for the proposed warehouse and distribution facility at 44 Hartford Turnpike.